Charles Augustus Lindbergh Jr. was born at the home of Mrs. Lindbergh's father, the late Ambassador Dwight W. Morrow, in Englewood, N.J., on June 22, 1930. It was Mrs. Lindbergh's twenty-fourth birthday and an occasion for double celebration.
Perhaps nowhere in the world, at any time in history, had a child been the object of such wide public interest as was the Lindbergh child.
At 3 P.M. on the twenty-second of June the news was announced. The Lindbergh baby, weighing between seven and one-half and seven and three-quarter pounds, blinked at the bright Summer sunlight, and the word went flashing round the world by telegraph, cable and wireless.
Reporters who had waited in legions at the gate of the Morrow estate for several days used motor cars to get to the nearest telephones and to the nearest telegraph offices. Radio broadcasters stepped to their microphones and sent the message out over chains of stations.
Strangers Drove to Gate
Within an hour after the child was born messages began to pour into the Morrow home from everywhere, from people in all walks of life, rich and poor alike. Everybody was interested in the birth of the son of the most famous young man in modern history. Strangers came in long motor processions to the gate of the estate to offer their congratulations.
An hour after the news of the birth of the baby Lindbergh became known, a song based on his arrival was sung from one of the broadcasting stations.
From Mexico City, where Lindbergh wooed and won Miss Anne Morrow for his bride, the telegrams were countless. President Ortiz Rubio sent his personal congratulations and the congratulations of his people. And in far-off France, where the name of Lindbergh was cheered whenever it was mentioned, the nation "adopted" the Lindbergh baby for its own. It was the favorite topic on the boulevards and in thousands of French homes.
Children Brought Flowers
The long road leading to the Morrow gate became like a path to some sacred shrine, the day after the story of the baby's birth was published. Little children from the town of Englewood and neighboring districts picked bouquets of daisies and other wild flowers, and clutching them in damp palms carried them to the guards for "Lindy's baby."
But the guards had orders to admit no one, even children. Messengers could not get beyond the gate. Only the most intimate friends of the Morrows and the Lindberghs were allowed through. One ingenious individual tried to get by with a brand new baby carriage, but when the guard telephoned to the house the man was turned away. No carriage had been ordered, Colonel Lindbergh said.
For a month the waiting world got few details about the famous baby, but late in July the Colonel said that he and his wife, contemplating a flying trip to the Morrow Summer home in Maine, might take the child with them. The nation waited expectantly, but the trip was finally made without the baby. Mr. and Mrs. Lindbergh changed their plans at the last moment.
Cheated of the vicarious thrill of reading about the baby's flight, mothers throughout the land watched hungrily for other details of its development. Was it to be trained as their children were? A dispatch from Washington in September, 1930, gave the first clue. The baby's first book was to be "The Painted Pig," a work of his grandmother, Mrs. Elizabeth Morrow.
A month later Colonel Lindbergh announced that when the baby reached the proper age he would be permitted to choose his own life work. At the same time it was learned that so many gifts were sent to the child, when news of its birth was broadcast, that the Lindberghs could not find room for them all. They came from every part of the world.
"To acknowledge them individually," said a magazine writer who had interviewed Colonel Lindbergh," was completely out of the question. To have returned them without a personal explanation to those who sent them would have seemed an ungracious act, while to send the gifts of others to charitable organizations might also have appeared as a signal lack of appreciation." The baby's toys became a real problem and they kept mounting with each new batch of mail from the more distant corners of the globe.
On Oct. 17, 1930, Colonel and Mrs. Lindbergh moved into the home of Harold M. Van Horn near Princeton, N.J., to stay there until the home they were building near Hopewell should be completed.
The child's first birthday, coming with his mother's twenty-fifth, was celebrated at the Morrow Englewood estate. By that time he was a chubby little fellow passing much of his time in the daylight hours on the velvety, spacious lawns.
While his parents were on their flying tour in the Orient last Summer, the child spent part of the season at the Morrow Summer home in Maine and during July, August and September was back at Englewood, awaiting their return. In October he returned with the Morrows to Maine.
Will Rogers, after a visit to the Morrow family two weeks ago, wrote: "The Lindbergh baby is the cutest thing you ever saw, walking, talking, and disgraced the Lindbergh name by crying to come away with Mrs. Rogers and I in the car."
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